Wien, 21. September 2006 Press release

Plassnik: "Austria and the EU at the centre of the fight against corruption"

21.09.2006

20.09.2006

Choice of location also an acknowledgement of Austria’s work in the field of security

Meeting of EU Foreign Ministers with Palestinian President Abbas in New York

New York, 21 September 2006 - "The creation of an anti-corruption academy constitutes an important concrete step in the fight against this global problem," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, welcoming the decision by Interpol’s General Meeting held in Rio de Janeiro on 20 September 2006. "Corruption as a social phenomenon exists in almost all regions of the world. It is harmful to sustainable development, democracy, the economy and the rule of law," continued the Foreign Minister.

"I am especially pleased that the General Meeting of Interpol unanimously chose Austria and the European Union as the location of the new Anti-Corruption Academy. I congratulate Minister of the Interior Liese Prokop on this decision, which is also an acknowledgement of Austria’s work in the field of security," said Plassnik.

Austria was particularly suited as a location because it had been consistently pushing cross-border cooperation in the field of domestic security for a long time, continued the Foreign Minister, citing as examples cooperation with the Salzburg Group, the major Conference on International Security in May 2006 in Vienna, which marked the first broad-based dialogue between the EU and third countries, and the security focus of Austria’s cooperation with the Balkan states. "Interpol’s Anti-Corruption Academy is the logical continuation of this work. Austria is thus at the centre of the globally networked fight against corruption," continued the Foreign Minister.

"All 186 Member States of Interpol will benefit from the basic and further training as well as the technical know-how provided by the new Academy," said Plassnik, adding that "by locating the Academy in Austria, we can now offer particularly good access to our partners in the European Union and the Balkans."

The Anti-Corruption Academy will also support the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, which entered into force in December 2005.

Contact:
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213
abti3(at)bmaa.gv.at

New York, 19 September 2006 - "President Abbas' intention to form a government of national unity has been an important stimulus for overcoming internal disagreement. It is also a new basis for the resumption of the dialogue with Israel and for cooperation with the international community of states," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik following the meeting of EU Foreign Ministers with the Palestinian President on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York.

This meeting was held at the initiative of Foreign Minister Plassnik, who had submitted the proposal for a direct exchange of ideas with Mahmoud Abbas to the Finnish EU Presidency last week. "At this decisive stage it was important to hear first hand from President Abbas how he sees the situation," the Foreign Minister stressed.

"A government of national unity is currently the only route likely to succeed in putting an end to the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The issue at stake now is the concrete implementation of this plan. The last few days have shown how great the difficulties are," said the Foreign Minister, adding that "the internal Palestinian dialogue has reached a turning point. We must not allow setbacks to discourage us in our commitment. We must prevent extremists from seizing back the initiative. We want to exploit the signs of hope and we trust that the current difficulties can be overcome."

Plassnik also stressed the importance of this meeting as a sign of the EU’s sustained support for President Abbas' efforts. "We welcome the clear conditions formulated by President Abbas for the formation of a government of national unity. Both the renunciation of violence and the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers and the arrested Palestinian politicians are indispensable requirements for re-establishing of the necessary basis of trust and dialogue," emphasised the Foreign Minister.

Contact
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213
abti3(at)bmaa.gv.at